Tuesday, 15 May 2018
Jizzy Pearl – All You Need Is Soul. 6/10.
The album kicks in with the Love/Hate stylings of “You’re Going To Miss Me When I’m Gone” it stomps into the room like the big boy that it is, the vocals explode like a hand grenade, this is what Mr Pearl does best, a nice kind of power punk with great backing vocals, one down and then onto the its mate “Coming Home To The Bone” a similar vein type of rocker, it soon becomes apparent this is an album of formula, some better that others, some worse!
“High For An Eye” simply can’t shake off the AC DC overtones its not a bad track just something niggles in the back of my mind, this is kind of familiar, Thankfully the title track of the album offers up some redemption, a great track that proves Mr Pearl does have the chops to carry off a great album, however its short lived as we return to yet another mid-tempo rock song with “House of Sin” again it’s a nice track but its not great, the biggest fault for this album is the pacing of the album, you have a smattering of good tracks spread between acoustic cuts and mid-tempo fillers!
“Mortified” sticks to the formula, its solid but is missing the pixie dust of magic, “Frustrated” is next and I bet he is, another mid-tempo plod along, these may work better live, but here its well-played but lacking some oomph! Thankfully another good track turns up just as interest was wandering, “When The Devil Comes” is a nice slow blues number and is full of swagger and muscle, we could do with some more of this as it seems to suit the band, back to the short stomp of “You Don’t Know” placed somewhere else on the album it might have had a chance to breath here it struggles to follow the last track, now we head to the obligatory ballad its like the 1980’s hasn’t happened yet, its not a bad song but could have fitted onto any early Poison or Bon Jovi album, “It Doesn’t Matter” does exactly what it says on the tin, and I do like it, I can see the dry ice and the lighters in the stadiums right now, then back to the formula another mid-tempo song and then the last song proper “Mr Jimmy” is great just the right amount of bile, a few more like this and the album would have scored much higher.
The bonus track is an acoustic version of “You Don’t Know” and this works better, maybe Mr Pearl should have chose the one he liked best and stuck by his convictions. This is not a bad album, its well-played, I enjoyed it and then the lack of variety made me lose interest, Jizzy I always thought would be the perfect replacement for Nazareth he always reminded me of a more musical Dan McCafferty, he always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, some of the album just doesn’t seem to get into gear, some of it rocks in a great massive way and the rest of it is……Bluuuuuuur!
What does stick out the most is a great lyric in “Mr Jimmy” the only good musicians are dead! Would I play the album again? Damn right I would, but it would be depending on my mood, there’s a few tracks that if I don’t fancy, I would flick past, this could have been so much better, hopefully next time.
Sunday, 13 May 2018
Its been a poor end to the week, it always is when you wake up and somebody you know has passed, Mr S wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea, the first words he ever spoke to me was to say fuck off, he then apologised as he thought I was some other ugly c***, I only ever had two deep meaningful conversations in all the time I knew him, both times about John Cooper Clark, yes the name game is in play and yes its………..ah you get the drift, I know Mr S will be missed by a cast of thousands, he was well loved and respected, and he knew how to throw a great party although his upstairs back door nearly killed just as many on that new year’s eve!
As always though the world will keep spinning, we ourselves need to move on, just remember to share the love with the people you love, make sure that people know and understand the depth of that love that you have, it really does make a difference!
The youngest daughter has returned for such a short visit but its been great to be in her company, lovely to do some cooking with her, hopefully she won’t take as long as too return, we do love her ……honest! as it has been a testing time in our household, our fridge freezer is grinding away like a Napalm Death album I can’t wait for the man too come and fix it on Thursday, please don’t be late I’m not sure how much more I can take.
Work has been a tad naughty as I found out on Thursday that I have an exam next Thursday so you can guess what I have been doing this week end, nothing like a secret being kept, ho hum it should be fun, as there’s at least ten of us doing the same revision this week end, that’s part of the reason for the blog being as brief as it is, I had intended (after much encouragement from some of you) to open a music Facebook page , that is still the plan, however my head may be a shed and full of useless crap I do need to revise for the exam……………………..allegedly! Magnus hasn’t said whether he would like more reviews but I think I need some practice just in case he wants some, I wasn’t a boy scout, but I do like to be prepared!
I need to look after the Mrs as she is feeling run down (don’t worry I don’t drive) and we are on holiday in just over a fortnight so I need her to be rested, we aren’t going anywhere, however one of us always seems to be poorly on our holidays, something I am quite keen to avoid, this time around, mind you if we are well, I know that the Kraken will just kick off, that’s the way our life seems to go!
The blog has done quite well slogging away in the background, not massive numbers but there’s a group of people reading some of the older ones, that’s nice to see, soon I will take over the world……..erm maybe not, however I do intend to spend my time equally between the blog and the music page, although the music page will take a lot longer to raise its profile, I said I needed a hobby, so tell the ones you love that you love them and tell them that they matter, until after my exam, watch the skies for incoming , until then Toodles!
Wednesday, 9 May 2018
Little Caesar – Eight. 8.5/10
I have been a fan of Ron Young (lead singer of the band) since their debut came out, hell I even followed him all the way to Manic Eden (and he was the best thing in that band) then the world turned and music generally of this kind was sent off into the back rooms and bars of America, I was over the moon when I got this album to review, I had every appendage crossed I didn’t get a car crash of an album.
I needn’t have worried, it has everything that I like in an album, good songs with a great old-fashioned vibe, now that’s not to say that the album is perfect, its not, and that simply adds to its charm. The great thing about this album is that it is old fashioned, the band concentrate on the songs, not all flash and shred, not that anything wrong with those things, its simply not needed all the time, and its not needed at all on this album!
It all kicks in with “21 Again”, which is what most people wish that they could be, it also has a killer chorus, then straight into “Mama Tried” a freight train of a song maybe not as lyrically happy as it should be, but still a great song, Then we head to “Vegas” and the first track that doesn’t gel straight away, its good but its what makes the score on the album start to falter when you compare it to the rest of the album its simply OK, the rest of the album has big muscles this simply needs to go the gym, the rolling stones vibe style of “Crushed Velvet” continues down a similar path simply not my cup of tea, it’s OK simply not great.
Thankfully the album kicks back in with “Good Times” a muscular ball of fun which rocks along quite nicely, then we take a trip to ballad town with a song that just sips Jack and Coke all the way there, “Time enough for that” is a great song and a welcome pit stop and change of direction it also stops the album being one dimensional, Ron’s vocals are so sweet on this, good honest music with just a subtle hint of understated Hammond organ in there.
“Straight Shooter” could have come off any of the early Aerosmith albums, it has that attitude and vibe. This then rolls into “Another fine mess” which again reminds of me of classic Skynyrd, laid back with a nice touch of sass. “Morning” shows a softer (not in a bad way) side of the band with Ron’s voice suiting the styling, this shows a band that’s happy with flexing their musical muscles.
The album then ends with “That’s Alright”, back into old school Aerosmith but with some clever kind of Jellyfish style backing vocals, it shouldn’t work, but hell yeah it does, the copy of the album I have has two “Bonus” tracks and hell they should have been on here all along “Mixed Signs” and “Slow Ride” (no not the Foghat song) should have been well up the track listing, not bonus material at all but bonafide album tracks!
I know the album has been out a while but I only got it a fortnight ago and I’m so pleased to hear an album of this class, just because something is slightly old school doesn’t mean it should be dismissed out of hand it’s a great album and deserves a much wider audience than I bet it gets!
Monday, 7 May 2018
A return to blog writing and not reviewing music (which is harder than it looks) a week is a long time in my mind and the happy go lucky person who blogged last week is also a distant memory, I’m not unhappy, just sitting in the dark in the back of the house seems to have suited my mood today.
The sun is back, and although I am a fan of blue skies I’m not a huge fan of the brightness or the heat, me awkward? go figure, I’m not crawling back into my shell, I am quite happy (ish) well mmmm maybe I am, who knows who cares!
The last two blogs have been reviews and although they haven’t generated massive numbers they have done well and the response from you lot has been good, much better than anticipated, but no I am not being paranoid about the redneck infestation, I’m simply doing as I’m told for once. The response from Magnus the gentleman that I have done the reviews for has been good, although he has told me off twice for breaking the 600-word limit (604 & 611 respectively) I am struggling with the third one as it’s a third strike and I’m out kind of deal, just a lot more polishing, but I have to deliver by Thursday so, I have to be a good boy, for those of you who are interested it’s Little Caesar – Eight, watch this space.
So, I have a day to myself and the intention is to do lots of little chores and not fall out with the wife anymore this weekend, one blow out is quite enough, even though she is at work at the moment, there is still a huge scope of opportunity for us to have a massive fall out, the rest of the week is earlies, which will have me dead on my feet by Friday with a quick return late shift stuck in the middle just to screw with my internal clock!
My health is still crap, and to be honest it’s the one thing that is doing my napper in, I am doing all the good things that I have been tasked with doing, it’s a boring lifestyle and I still feel like hammered shit most of the time, I still have a pile of beer (and limes) in the fridge however I don’t have the inclination to get stuck into it, WTF! The blogs I have been writing and working and polishing are going into my “maybe later” vault as they all have taken a turn to the black side, not in a bad way just there’s a thread that seems to be running through them all and its one thread I would like to cut, the only one that could raise its head is “The whalers dues” I’m still liking this one, but I need to get rid of the black and inject some humour!
So a busy week ahead writing wise and hopefully some good stuff to post, I am trying to steer clear of negativity as much as I can, I think I have surprised some people with the reviews I think peeps thought that the Rainbow one would get ten out of ten as well, I did like it, however I didn’t love it, here’s hoping I get to keep within the 600 word limit and Magnus sends me some more, so if you are so inclined go enjoy the sun, good company and if you can get it good food, play nice and watch the skies, until the next time……………..Toodles!
Wednesday, 2 May 2018
Rainbow – Memories in Rock II. 7/10.
This was always going to be a difficult album to review, a childhood hero taking a backwards step, back to a time when he was the king of the world, this wasn’t going to be that journey.
No Judy Garland but the familiar strains of Over the Rainbow get the ball rolling and straight into Spotlight Kid, this sets the tone for the remaining 23 tracks (yes I got the Japanese version) the tone feels decidedly light weight, there’s no aggression, there’s no frenetic pace there’s’ no gasping for breath, this is not 1978, then the singles start, I’m sorry I don’t want to listen to the jukebox hits, I want to hear the real mastery, the gut wrenching riffs and the single high speed notes, it’s well played but it’s not what I expect or what I crave.
The main thing for me is the set list, a very similar set list to the previous tour, there are far too many Deep Purple tracks, yes, he plays them better than his old band, but there is something missing, instead of Mistreated, why couldn’t we have Love’s No Friend? Why Child in Time, I have loved just about everything I have heard with Deep Purple and Rainbow, but over the years, I hear the same tracks over and over, to be honest I feel slightly let down this time around. If you are going to do Deep Purple do a couple of medley’s not full tracks. Or is it simply easier to stick to what comes easy, the hits are not what everybody wants!
The band perform well, not great just well, it just doesn’t have the magic touch of previous line ups, maybe if they did a longer tour it would feel more like a band, I could imagine after 30 odd dates Ronnie Romero being locked in as tight as a nut, they never seem to hit the right groove, I don’t mean to sound hyper-critical, but I have followed this Guitar God since I was 7, I remember the gigs I have seen, or the bootlegs I have heard, You Tube has taken the shine off the apple, I have watched every gig since the band has reformed and I mean every gig, Mr B seems to be having fun and at his age that’s all that matters, yes I did get the Japanese copy (old habits die hard) there are some additional tracks, Land of Hope and Glory and a new version of I Surrender, they sound like demo’s they make it seem as though, lets see what we have and stick them on, I would have preferred full blown proper recordings of them, the new song Waiting For a Sign saves the day, the potential is there, but its almost like he doesn’t want to like it too much just in case once he lets rip, that there is no way of putting the madness back in the bottle!
Why No Arial, Black Masquerade, Eyes of the World, Gates of Babylon and oh why no Jealous Lover? the band has so much potential but seems that they are happy to sit at the back and simply walk along a similar path, when they should be strutting and preening like the days of Yore. I have enjoyed this, I know you may not think it, I wanted to love it, I don’t, but I do like it, that’s not the same! but if I’m being honest I would like Mr B to go back to making the music he loves, I wait with baited breath for the next Blackmore’s Night Album!
Sunday, 29 April 2018
FM – Atomic Generation. 10/10.
I always look forward to a new FM album, but this time they have gone and done it, knocked it right out of the park!
The album starts with the stadium lifting Black Magic, all singalong chorus and infectious hooks, this should get huge radio play, but it won’t, why? because its honest, well-crafted and well played, not some sterile pop pap! The ball keeps on rolling into Too Much of a Good Thing, a classic FM rockier type of ballad, something which they excel at. The rock keeps on coming with Killed by Love, and then straight into Only in It for The Money, my only gripe about this song is the dodgy till effect at the beginning of the song, sorry boys but I had to find something to complain about. Having said that its also the meanest riff on the entire album, something heavy oh yes indeed, the song itself covers all bases with Mr Overland being Mr Nasty all the way through, this leads us straight into Golden Days which takes right back to the eighties with a Don Henley kind of vibe, very similar to the boys of summer, but not if you get my drift.
They then go cross country on our ass and head back to a Rock/Motown type of vibe that they have tried before, something that Santana would kill for, with Playing Tricks On Me, there are so many tracks here that should be getting radio airplay, somebody should be charged for crimes against the nation! they then take the foot off the pedal, just a little, so that the band can have a breather but Make The Best Of What You Got will still get the crowd on their feet, it lulls you into a false sense of security that the band have played all of their best cards, but we are so wrong on that score, Follow Your Heart, is this band doing what they do best, a supremely crafted song with everything going right for them, this is the jewel in this particular crown, keyboards and guitars interplaying as they should with awesome vocals and some power chords in all the right places! Mr Kirkpatrick blazing away in a refined and smooth way like a modern-day Brian May, doing all the right things in all of the right places, and not one bit of shredding to get in the way, all the pieces fit and because of this it just makes the song soar.
How do they follow that well they break out the ballad, Do You Love Me Enough? Its so damn good it hurts, where else can they go with this? well they let Mr Davis loose with his trusty Hammond organ and they simply get Stronger, by now we the discerning listener are just about done there’s not a lot more they can do, or so we think, but they hit us with a fantastic acoustic led ballad called Love Is The Law, which brings the album back to earth with a gentle bump and not a crash landing.
I’m not sure how FM follow this, they have crafted the best album, their most consistent album since their debut, the band fit in and interplay, nobody plays over anybody else, the keyboards are to the fore as they should be, The guitars are to the point nothing is overdone a damn fine effort , my issue is that I want to see all eleven songs performed live as they would slot great into their set, this really is music for an Atomic Generation!
Here is the news, or rather what has happened within the last 48 hours and what is coming down the line!
So Friday night me and the Mrs were both at work, which helped me to get home in a sensible time, once home we were soon off to bed and then sharp to rise, I did some chores first thing picked up my prescription, bought some pasta sauce for the tea and then went and bought some shoelaces (£2.50 WTF) however the wife had a quickish turnaround yesterday, so it looked like I had the house to myself, a quick conversation with my brother meant he was going to come up and collect (ahem) some music (43 gyg) then my stomach bug kicked in and I suffered miserably all afternoon, the visit from my brother cancelled and an afternoon on the settee with myself and my fever dreams for company.
The wife arrived home shouting at me for being a sickly bairn (your welcome) and we had a brief shouting match, what the wife wants the wife gets! I made the tea, we ate (in silence) and then we got ready and set off on a jolly jaunt!
Now its at this point I would normally blog about the evening, but I’m not going to, simply because I was poorly and I didn’t really interact with many people, I have a feeling most people thought I was a misery anyways (ha me with my reputation) I honestly did have a great time, but I was trying not to gas anybody (thankfully I didn’t) and I wanted what was in my stomach to stay there (thankfully it did) but it didn’t make me the best company, I can only apologise for that, but trust me I did have a wonderful time, the wife did as well, however it took me over 45 minutes to get her to leave, by this point I was crippled with stomach pains and I was nearly on my hands and knees as we got home, thankfully I was able to resolve the issues once at home.
I awoke this morning not being able to find the wife, it turns out its her turn to be poorly (your welcome) so I got up made my notes for this blog and sat while the laptop took ages to resolve its issues with being switched on at this time of day, I have done all of my chores I just await the corpse bride to shake a leg and come and give me company, what does the day hold? Well I have this little missive to post, I need to clear my laptop and see if I can fix it, if not I need to get as much off here as I can, before it goes Kaput!
You will also see on the blog page , although I am tinkering with the idea of maybe a Facebook page, some album reviews, I have been asked to review three albums for a Scandinavian website, no names no pack drill I won’t be posting under my real name anyway (scared of another Redneck infestation) and if it goes well I might get some more, the editor of the web page likes my blog so hey ho nothing ventured nothing gained, please let me know what you think and if it’s a good fit I might just do that page/group thing!
So again to all the nice people from last night thank you for a fab time, sorry for being a misery, I was genuinely trying my best, and I thought I did better than what I thought I would be, I’m only in a few photographs, so I know who you are and a stiff talking to is on the cards, and does anybody know where I can buy a cattle prod as somebody is awfully nice when they see me and have started hugging me at the beginning and ending of the night, I don’t do hugs, I have no idea what is expected in theses situations, a scoring system, a bear hug in return, I think I’m a little like Sheldon in the hugging department, I do come from a loving family (I think) I simply do not know the etiquette for returning hugs, I know the duchess tried to get me out of the bad habit but sorry boys and girls I’m just not used to lovely people being affectionate!
That’s us done I return to the reviewing of the albums (thankfully I have them all, the problem is I also like them all) the first one will be up later tonight even though it is finished some fine tuning and polishing must take place before it is published, me with my reputation, have a lovely Sunday and until the next time ……………….Toodles!